image © 杨文龙
The renovation project of the Community Center in West Zhijiang Road is a part of the Grey Gravity renovation project by Shanghai Jingan District Culture Bureau, which aims to improve community life by minor space alteration. The project is the typical garden construction with pavilion and porch in regions south of the Yangtze River, located in the center of an old community area. However the areas lost the lightness and walking experience after building more spacial use by fixing glasses and walls. The renovation includes three areas, the pavilion, landscape porch and attached space, linking with temporary unapproved building. The pavilion is for reading room and fitness room, while attached space for multi-functional use. Part of the porch space will be for studios of some craftsmen such as barber, maintenance worker and shoemaker. As a result of the messy view and multi-functional use, you could see out-of-order pilling up everywhere in the previous space. And this is the typical problem of old community. The project is a ground-floor planning, located between two high-rise buildings so that it is badly lighted from south and north. And we can not change the entrance and exit due to complexity of the old community.
After thinking about all the existing problems, first we’d like to resume the lightness of the space. We hoped to make garden feature back by resetting space and optimizing walking experience, this is the first clue. We didn’t remove or ornament the attached space, but turning it into a fan-shaped stage which could be an element of the garden and a natural part of the porch. We can name it Yesterday Once More. Li Liweng in Qing Dynasty invented fan-shaped window installed in the boat so that the passengers on board could enjoy the view as fan-shaped pictures when the boat was drifting along. Similarly in our project, the viewers outdoors could see those activities indoors as pictures too. The fan-shaped stage is not only a double-faced view, but a space for immersive experience like reading center for children or community performing stage for the aged. The relationship of children and the aged inspired the second clue of the project. We freed this space by setting no partition area and mirror-covered arc ceiling to try best to ensure the caring relation. In the meanwhile, the studios for craftsmen were half open. We aimed to improve the relationship between craftsmen and the environment by adding vivid spacial elements and make functional use better.
Strategy for lighting:
We increased the window size in the north of the project to optimize lighting and make visionary dialogue between outdoor passerby and indoor space, while window size in the north can not be changed due to the structure limit. We added a layer of wall interlaced by black brick and glass brick in the constructional column in south exterior wall of the fan-shaped stage. It made a vacant space between exterior wall and the bricks. The daylight from south becomes soft in stage area because light comes through window and vacant space and is scattered by specially-arranged glass bricks. It could satisfy the lighting demand for children’s reading in addition to the light from north. As the night comes, you could see a rhythmic background wall for the fan-shaped stage when the bulbs light in the vacant space glows through glass bricks together with lamp belt in concealed position. We also designed spot light in fixed points in ceiling to meet the multi-demands of a performing stage. The wall of black bricks and glass bricks becomes the media of light.
We used mixed glass bricks and black bricks for the background wall of stage in order to meet the demand of multi-function of the performing stage in different time. And for the pavilion, we designed a stainless mirror-covered arc to break the sight limit, which could also be interesting besides the design for the stage room. White epoxy self-leveling was used for the floor and color coating for red roof truss while the wood texture was kept. The wall was painted after wiping out old parts, you can feel a bit different way among white epoxy self-leveling, old white wall and wood roof truss. It neutralized the background color of the stage and arc mirror ceiling, making them changeable and sustainable.
During the construction, the unapproved building near the pavilion was temporarily pulled down. As the design of the project was not relevant to the unapproved site, we decided to make little adjustments to our plan. We removed promotion board on the damaged wall, turning it to a shelf where you could put things. And we painted discarded stone blocks to temporary seats. In that way, we created a space for waiting and shelving between an outdoor toilet and the pavilion and you can have a vivid feeling to this area after the adjustments.
摄影师：杨文龙 余怡虹 阮晓舟
Project：Renovation of the Community Center in West Zhijiang Road: Yesterday Once More,
Architect studio: ruan xiaozhou design studio
Chief Architect: Xiaozhou Ruan
Address: Shanghai, China
Project finished in 2019
Building Area: 100㎡
Photo by Wenlong Yang, Yihong Yu , Xiaozhou Ruan
Planning: Shanghai Oriental Danology Institute ,Shanghai Jingan District Culture Bureau
owner：Shanghai West Zhijiang Road sub-district
Construction: Shanghai Pai Xue Construction Engineering Co., Ltd.
Project Manager: Liming Ji
Structure Consultant: Wei Kuang
Material: black brick, glass brick, stainless steel mirror, epoxy self leveling and water based paint